From Iceland — More Strike Actions Overwhelmingly Approved By Icelandic Tourism Workers

More Strike Actions Overwhelmingly Approved By Icelandic Tourism Workers

Published March 11, 2019

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Hotel and bus company workers overwhelmingly approved taking further strike actions, which may begin soon as next week, the union Efling reports.

In Iceland, union leadership cannot move forward with any kind of striking activity without the democratic consent of its workers. According to an announcement posted on the labour union Efling’s website yesterday, hotel workers, bus company workers and workers for Almenningsvagnar Kynnisferða—which services a part of capital area public transport company Strætó’s buses—voted overwhelmingly in favour of further strike action.

1,263 ballots were cast, representing about 35% of those on the voting rolls. Of those, 1,127 voted in favour of further strike action, 103 voted against, and 33 had no position. As such, 92% of these workers who voted have approved further strike action.

What this will mean varies, depending on the workers involved and on what day. Efling has published a schedule of which actions by what workers will be taken when, but they basically break down into two categories: regular strikes and work restrictions.

During regular strikes, these workers will not be at their workplaces at all. During work restrictions, by contrast, workers may limit what duties they will perform, whether that means bus drivers not accepting tickets or counting passengers, or hotel workers not doing laundry, amongst other actions. The full schedule of which actions will be taken when is in the previous link.

As reported, last week’s one-day work stoppage of hotel workers in and around the capital area received statements of solidarity and support from labour unions the world over. Whether or not these further actions go forward is now dependent on how management responds to the union demands.

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